A look at the Oakland A’s minor league affiliate’s ballpark the home of the Las Vegas Aviators in Summerlin NV. The A’s could possibly move to the Las Vegas suburb if they lose the advisory board vote on Jun 2, 2022. They need two thirds vote to approve Howard Terminal from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission in hopes to remain in Oakland (file photo from the Las Vegas Review Journal)
As the A’s Turns – A Baseball Soap Opera
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
OAKLAND–General Hospital, Guiding Light, Days of Our Lives, As the World Turns, The Young and the Restless are some of the longest-running soap operas, they have been running for decades, some since the 1960’s and even before. It is a staple of American entertainment.
As a matter of fact, few things have survived longer on television than Soap Operas, it is a guaranteed loyal audience. I am sure your wife, your sister or mother or grandmother were big fans. I do not want to discriminate, some men also were hooked to soaps. Some ballplayers have told me, when they went on the road they watched these in the morning.
The Oakland A’s stadium situation could be dated to 1989 (coincidentally the year the A’s beat the Giants in the World Series) when former A’s owner Wally Haas, of Levi Strauss Company agreed to cede the Giants and owner Bob Lurie the territorial rights to San José (which was under A’s control) as the Giants were looking to relocate the team out of California.
The Giants owner was frustrated that his club could not get a new stadium built in the Bay Area. Finally the Giants resolved their situation, many years later, but it was not easy, they suffered various setbacks as well as losing a few elections. In 2000 the Giants inaugurated Pac Bell Park, today Oracle Park.
The State Capital. Sacramento was a possibility for the A’s as their new home years ago, but plans did not materialized. Their Mayor was Kevin Johnson, an ex-NBA star, who successfully fought to keep the Sacramento Kings on his city and was very receptive to the idea of the Oakland A’s moving there.
Johnson believed in the power of pro-sport franchises. Today Sacramento, according to the Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA) ranks 20, while Las Vegas is 40 media market. These are the top media markets in the US. 1-New York, 2-Los Angeles, 3-Chicago, 4-Philadelphia, 5-Dallas/Ft Worth, 6-San Francisco/Oakland/San José. “Sacramento is a very nice city, but not for Major League Baseball, as far as our ownership is concerned,” A’s owner, Lew Wolff, told a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Sacramento is known since 2017 as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital”. At the end of this episode Sacramento also struck out.
2011 The Oakland A’s were planning going south to Fremont, where they will play at Cisco Field, excellent location adjacent to highway 680 about 20-25 miles south from the Oakland Coliseum and just 15 miles north of San José largest city in the Bay Area.
That plan had the A’s building a 32,000 to 35,000 seat which they would share with the Oakland Raiders. Since then, the Raiders stop watching this soap opera and left for Las Vegas. At the time I attended a Pro A’s rally at Fremont at the old ‘Saddle Rack’ country-style bar and nightclub who used to have some famous country talent like actor-singer Dwight Yoakam and others of notoriety.
People showed up in opposition citing it would bring more traffic and crime. The A’s got cold feet, and Fremont struck out. The “suburb” of Fremont today is the #4 most populous city in the Bay Area with over 235,000, only San José, San Francisco and Oakland have a larger population.
Fremont? End to that chapter of this long running soap opera. Fremont might not have the A’s but they have Tesla one of the great automobile manufacturers in the world, as we speak.
2017 Lake Merritt, Oakland. The A’s also planed to build a 35,000 seat ballpark in downtown Oakland near Lake Merritt, but that was derailed when the Peralta Community College board district that owns the land rejected the offer.
We all remember that location and some of us visit that area frequently. It was considered downtown, just as the current proposed Howard Terminal, obviously much more closer to downtown than Peralta College.
Currently a couple of lawsuits in opposition hang over the A’s as far as their new Howard Terminal downtown park, while the team management continues to work on parallel plans with Oakland and Las Vegas.
All estimates are that this long-running soap opera would have some kind on conclusion during the 2022 season, some even predict this summer. And, of course, we will all witness the final episode of “As the A’s Turn”.
Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez on the Oakland A’s Spanish flagship station for all the play by play 1010 KIQI San Francisco LeGrande and for News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com